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Interiors, Dash, Lights and Electrical Everything Inside

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  #1  
Old March 13th, 2021, 05:12 PM
biscaynebirdie biscaynebirdie is offline
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Default Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

I have a '65 1000. For the past two months, I've been working on rebuilding the steering column. I ordered a 1963 Chevrolet truck turn signal switch and it works perfectly. However, the bearings keep breaking! I believe that the included spring that fits between the bearing and the steering wheel simply provides too much pressure, resulting in failure.

When I installed the first bearing, I used the retaining ring and spring just as they are. This resulted in the top of the bearing snapping and releasing the ball bearings. It wasn't very fun cleaning up that mess...

I installed the second bearing and cut the spring in half to reduce some of the pressure. No dice. This one also seems to have broken, albeit not entirely as it is still functional. I had to pull broken pieces of a metal ring out from between the ball bearings. It now has a slight creak to it now when turning the wheel quickly, so I have now ordered a third bearing as I don't want to risk complete failure if I am on a drive far away from home. It just isn't safe.

So, I am now down about $100 on these bearings. I think my best bet is to find a spring that matches the dimensions of the one included with these bearings, but that isn't quite as hard. The spring has to be in place or else the steering shaft and bearing have a lot of play. Has anyone else had a similar issue? Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old March 13th, 2021, 06:04 PM
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AZKen AZKen is offline
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

Need pics of column, looking in. Need part number of turn signal switch kit you bought. Need part number of mast bearing you bought. Pics pics pics.
Obviously you are using wrong parts or are assembling them wrong, or both. Very hard for us to catch which one of these without lots of info. All we know is bearing is breaking.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 07:54 PM
biscaynebirdie biscaynebirdie is offline
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

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Originally Posted by AZKen View Post
Need part number of turn signal switch kit you bought. Need part number of mast bearing you bought.
The turn signal switch is part number SWTS063, from Brothers. Ignore their photo, as it doesn't match the actual product but it's identical to the 1963 Chevrolet truck switch that all of the other vendors are selling. Screws perfectly into the collar. The bearing was purchased from Classic Industries, item number E1175. The photo shows a bearing with a green wire, but the ones they have actually sent me have brown wires. It is advertised as fitting 1955-62 Chevrolet passenger cars and 1960-1963 Chevrolet trucks. I installed the retainer and spring just as the instruction sheet calls for. I'll upload pictures when I can, but I'm pretty sure I am using the right parts.

Last edited by biscaynebirdie; March 13th, 2021 at 08:05 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

Take a look at the LMC page
The all steel turn signal shown was changed to a plastic unit like you have. I don't believe your truck used a spring. No spring as long as the correct cam/canceler and other parts are correct.
Also you said the color of the "wires" changed to brown. No big deal, BUT did you mean to say "wire" not "wires". Only one wire.
I will wait for pix to confirm. If you do use that spring, it seems it is a very low pressure, small wire, spring. If you are placing the so called "retainer" correctly and all other parts correctly, I don't see how it would break the bearing. But I don't have pics to see what "breaking the bearing" is. If you feel a large spring force when installing the wheel, something is wrong with your stack up of parts.

Probably need to see a layout of your parts the way you are installing. Then maybe someone will spot something. Work on getting pix posted.
Installation videos of 1963 Chevy truck steering wheels do not show a spring. The bearing stays nested in the plastic switch housing....and probably held in by the cam/canceller skirt.
I will add no. 3 to the possibilities.
1. Wrong parts
2. Wrong assembly
3. You think you have the correct parts because it's hard to find info. I agree you and I would think they are correct because they were included. Some heavy duty spring were used on tilt wheels. There is the possibility of a column swap done by a PO. Looks the same but different. The new style plastic housing T/S probably mounts in same holes as the older all metal turn signal parts. Due to one casting/machining design for all Chevy and GMC trucks of that era, didn't change holes, just designed a modular switch. This is evidenced by the T/S fitting both Chevy and GMC.

Last edited by AZKen; March 13th, 2021 at 09:58 PM.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 09:27 PM
biscaynebirdie biscaynebirdie is offline
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZKen View Post
No spring as long as the correct cam/canceler and other parts are correct.
Also you said the color of the "wires" changed to brown. No big deal, BUT did you mean to say "wire" not "wires". Only one wire.
Only one wire. I was just referring to both bearings I'd bought. The thing is, if I dont use the spring and retainer, there is a lot of play in the bearing. Here's some info I found on the 67-72 forum: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=770540
I just can't bring myself to pay $200 for a 60 year old switch that may or may not still work properly... Maybe it's my only option though.
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Old March 13th, 2021, 10:37 PM
biscaynebirdie biscaynebirdie is offline
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

Should also note that the spring doesn’t hold the bearing into the housing. It presses in. The spring and retainer just provide tension down onto the bearing to prevent play. I think that if I just find a spring that isn’t quite as hard, i’ll be on the right track without breaking the bank.
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  #7  
Old March 23rd, 2021, 05:42 AM
biscaynebirdie biscaynebirdie is offline
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

Update: I decided to just not install the spring and retainer this time around. There’s a bit of play, but I can deal with it. It’s not bad at all. Thanks again!
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  #8  
Old March 23rd, 2021, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

If it's pressed in, it's pressed in. Slight axial play is OK. If it's radial play, not as OK. But that would not be helped by a spring. All of the other designs that don't have springs seem to work OK. It's hard to know how to deal with a hybrid like you have. But the spring had to go. Good decision.
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Old March 27th, 2021, 06:04 AM
biscaynebirdie biscaynebirdie is offline
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Default Re: Upper steering bearing keeps breaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZKen View Post
Slight axial play is OK. If it's radial play, not as OK. But that would not be helped by a spring.
Unfortunately, it is indeed radial play. The spring and retainer did “help” with this because they pushed down on the inner ring of the bearing and made everything more snug (thus less radial play), but this obviously made the bearing more susceptible to failure. Eventually I’ll buy the correct style turn signal switch with the built in bearing, but the amount of play isn’t unbearable.

This evening, I popped the steering wheel off, added some more grease to the new bearing, then went for a brief drive to make sure everything felt alright. Smooth and quiet compared to what it once was, so I’m happy.
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